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Review Of "Tears For The Wicked" By Hell 'N Diesel
Nostalgia. Even though it is not a craving for a physical thing, the hankering for the felicitous moments of the past is as powerful as the drives to survive, eat, and procreate. Just about everyone experiences nostalgia for something at some point, and this is understandable. After all, life is transitory, and everyone will eventually lose something of value they can never have again. Ultimately, though nostalgia is understandable, it is debilitating because, if one focuses only on the great moments of the past, the great moments that can be had in the present completely escape one's attention.
When it comes to engaging in nostalgia as a music fan, I am, hands downs, the world's worst offender. As an adolescent, I worshiped at nostalgia's feet. For me the AOR Era was the greatest era in Rock. I believed that there must have been something magical in the air back then; something that does not exist today. Furthermore, I believed not only were the Rock musicians of the AOR Era the greatest musicians, but that they were the ONLY musicians that could ever play epic Rock with the correct feel.
Fortunately, as I grew older, I grew out of such quaint beliefs. The problem is many Rock fans, who listen to the same kind of music I do, have not. For them, good music no longer exists until one of these classic bands reunites for a tour. This is nostalgia at its most pathological and toxic for this kind of thinking has meant Rock fans have ignored many amazing bands, who are new, thus robbing themselves as well as these bands of realizing equally sublime musical moments in the present.
The sad fact is, so many bands of the Post Commercial Era have suffered because of nostalgia, which is why I started my blog; so that I, in my own small way, can help change that.
Thus, when I think of the mania, on the part of Rock fans, for a reunion of the classic Guns 'N Roses lineup, I cannot help but to think of the group Hell 'N Diesel, a Post Commercial group that could easily have been more than a satisfying analog to Guns 'N Roses for many of these fans. Sadly, because of the cloying nostalgia in Rock, a band such as Hell 'N Diesel was doomed to tormented obscurity. Now, mind you, I love Guns 'N Roses just as much as the next Rock fan, and I am, in no way, putting the band down. All I am saying is: why cannot Rock fans have both? Why not rock out to Hell 'N Diesel, while waiting for the next Guns 'N Roses tour?
Obviously, since I seek to bring to light bands, who deserve more recognition, a review of Hell N' Diesel's EP Tears For The Wicked is in order. Though consisting of only three songs, this release packs a massive wallop. Straightway, one is plowed over by the title track. Making one feel like the Red Sea after being parted by Moses, hard-charging riffs come barreling through like a herd of rhinoceri. What is especially impressive about Hell 'N Diesel, like many bands of the Post Commercial Era, is its use of economy. Tears For The Wicked is not only a great track because it has great riffs, but also because of the band's pacing for, even though its members were very young, the group showed very deft arranging skills on this track, making the music on the verses slightly more subdued, so that, when the chorus kicks in, the song is even more powerful.
Continuing the sonic stampede is the next track Rebel, whose frenzied riff comes clawing toward one like Orcs trying to scale the walls of Helm's Deep. Imagine a Guns 'N Roses with twice the intensity, where Slash, Izzy, and Duff tune down five half-steps to B for extra heaviness; that is what Hell 'N Diesel is.
Rounding out the EP is the track Speed Devil. With its simple yet massive Frankenstein-monster of a riff lurching forward, the band shows yet again how judicious it is in its note selection, choosing only the choicest notes for only the most devastating tracks. Naturally, most music critics, being the dolts that they are, have completely ignored a band like Hell 'N Diesel in favor of the so-called “Rock revivalists.” What a shame another great band is flippantly overlooked in favor of sub-par groups, who are little more than also-rans.
And so, in closing, if you like Rock; I mean, if you really like Rock, you owe it to what is left of your hearing to check out this amazing band.
Now keep calm and buy vinyl.
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